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There are a few lessons that PRs and social media teams should take away from last night’s Brit Awards. Firstly, expect a kickback if you mute the vast majority of one of your highly-billed performer’s songs. Secondly, the One Direction ‘fandom’ has an exceptional Twitter presence, unmatchable by any other; and, thirdly, elaborate wardrobe stunts have a tendency to backfire.

As predicted, Madonna stole the show with her return to the stage as she gave a rendition of her latest single, Living For Love. Sadly, however, it wasn’t her singing that had viewers in a spin. The Material Girl took a spectacular tumble off the stage at the start of her performance – the disastrous result of an overly tight knot on her Armani cape.

Not only did her fall have countless viewers taking to social media to share videos and wisecracks, it became the lead news story from the award ceremony, eclipsing the evening’s award winners. Madonna trended worldwide on Twitter as word got out about her embarrassing topple.

Also making the headlines today was Kanye West’s rendition of All Day, which saw the show’s editors accused of being trigger-happy with the mute button, to the point of making the performance pointless. However, despite their best efforts, at least three expletives slipped through the net; a double whammy of shame for the event organisers.

Brit Awards logo

This year’s Brits attempted to embrace social media. The ‘best music video’ category was entirely voted for by hashtagged tweets – but, with One Direction in the running, it was pretty much a done deal thanks to their passionate global social following. Predictions were proven right as the X Factor fivesome was granted the award towards the end of the evening.

While I applaud the Brits team for going some way to demonstrate their understanding of just how integrated social media is when it comes to events like these, it would have been good to see them get a bit more involved in the social chat.

#Brits2015 trended all evening on Twitter, yet the official channel did not get involved in any conversations – it didn’t even acknowledge Madonna’s stumble, merely retweeting ITV’s statement that ‘the show must go on’, despite the hundreds of thousands of comments about it. It would have been a good opportunity to give the account some personality – especially considering the show was presented by cheeky duo, Ant and Dec, who could certainly get away with a witty comment or two.

It’s time that we stop paying lip-service to social media – it’s a completely different channel to any other and conversation is an absolute must if events, brands or individuals want to make an impact on their audience.

Joanna Drake